Tax Season is over, but keep blowing your horn

CPAs everywhere are doing a happy dance. Tax season is over and it was an undeniably tough one. Time to take a deep breath and rejuvenate.

CPAs aren’t the only ones who collectively sigh on tax day. The rest of the public is celebrating because what is a dreaded annual event for many has come and gone. And after April 15, the media doesn’t call as often to speak to members because there’s still a perception that CPAs are the professionals you call only for tax advice.

We’re working hard to change that. Because some of the biggest opportunities lie in what CPAs do for their clients the rest of the year.

CPA. Those three letters make a huge difference when it comes to long-term results and OSCPA is committed to helping the public make that important distinction. CPAs can also get better at tooting their own horns.

Here are a few ways we can jointly promote the role and work of CPAs even before the ink is dry on the tax forms:

April is Financial Literacy Month and a good springboard for building year-round client relationships. Pick up the phone and schedule an appointment to help clients tweak or overhaul their business or personal financial plan.

One silver lining in the recession may be that Americans are quickly changing their spending habits. In a recent AP survey, 54% of taxpayers expecting a refund said they plan to use it to pay bills or reduce debt. Consider sending clients an e-mail with these money-stretching tips for investing their refunds.

At the same time, you can introduce them to the Society’s Financial Fitness Ohio Web site. It includes a wealth of resources for consumers in various stages of life.

Now is a tough time for college graduates entering the workforce. In the latest OSCPA podcast series, “Navigate your Finances in a Turbulent Economy” OSCPA chair-elect Matt Yuskewich, CPA, covers part-time employment options, developing a savings strategy and other important lessons to start graduates off on a solid financial footing.

Changing public perception takes time. But together, we can all help to move the needle. More consumer advocacy groups are demanding that states license and regulate tax preparers. If there’s a movement in Ohio, OSCPA will be in the forefront to ensure that CPAs are NOT subject to any additional levels of regulation or registration.

Therefore, it’s critical that we keep educating the public about why hiring a CPA is really the best year-round financial insurance plan available.

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